I don't need a shareable task list, I need communication 

Posted on Feb 4, 2019

One of the key distinguishing features of Todoist compared to other task management applications, is the ability to share tasks with another user. When my wife and I got engaged we started using Todoists shared lists to help share duties and organize the tasks we needed to do for our wedding and beyond. 

However a year and a half ago I switched to using Things 3 which doesn’t have a shared task list. You might have thought that this would have caused a problem in either using two task management applications or worse. My wife assigned me a task which I then didn’t see as I wasn’t using Todoist. But this wasn’t the case as we had stopped using the shared tasks.

We had switched to having a weekly meeting where we discussed what was coming up and what we needed to do. This communication made sharing a list unnecessary.

Looking to technology, when we should look to ourselves 

Often, we look for technological solutions to solve people problems. Sometimes these people problems can’t be solved with a simple conversation, but more often our technology solutions are merely trying to replace good communication and personal skills (and often fail for the same reason). 

Want an example? 

At a one language school I worked at, we had to fill in a register with a record of work in a Google spreadsheet. Some staff filled in theirs immediately after classes with clear records. Others would regularly not fill in their record, and when they did, it was as if they were speaking a different language. 

The doc was supposed to make it possible to be filled in from anywhere at any time to help those who found it difficult to complete at work. But it didn’t help. It was the same people who didn’t fill it in at home, who didn’t fill it in at work. 

But technology can open new doors

On the other hand, I’ve used Google docs for students to share questions and answers to their homework before the next class. This collaboration couldn’t have been done without some form of technology (other classes of students have used WhatsApp and Facebook groups). 

Sometimes, technology can solve or ease our problems, but often there is a simpler solution resting with us. 

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